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Monster Hunter World Iceborne guide

Welcome to Hoarfrost Reach

Monster Hunter World's first big expansion takes hunters to the rather chilly land of Hoarfrost Reach. The new stuff isn't just limited to what you discover in the frozen tundra, as Iceborne includes new monsters to hunt in familiar and new locations, as well as new techniques and Master Rank equipment. There's a ton more besides this and we'll be going through as much as we can.

Monster Hunter World Iceborne guide

Our Monster Hunter World Iceborne guide will go over the new features of the latest expansion, when you can play it, and how to start Monster Hunter World Iceborne.

Monster Hunter World Iceborne guide contents

Monster Hunter World Iceborne

Monster Hunter World Iceborne PC release dates and times

The Monster Hunter World Iceborne PC release date is January 9th, 2020 and will be released at the same time globally from 17:00 UTC. It's worth noting that this time means that some regions won't see the game launch until January 10th. The expansion is not a free update and requires Monster Hunter: World to run.

monster hunter world iceborne start point

How to start Monster Hunter World Iceborne

Rather helpfully, Capcom provided a checklist for players to stand the best chance at getting up to speed in a Facebook post. However, you can also have a look at our Monster Hunter World guide hub for a plethora of guides to help you catch up. You'll need to have completed the main Monster Hunter: World campaign to begin Monster Hunter World Iceborne.

After you've completed Monster Hunter: World, look to the right as you enter Astera and you'll see a Feisty Fiver to speak to. Make sure you are prepared with armour to protect from ice-based attacks and weapons that have either fire or blast properties. Trust me, it'll save you some hassle in the long run.

Monster Hunter World Iceborne

What's new in Monster Hunter World Iceborne?

Monster Hunter World Iceborne introduces a lot of new features besides a plethora of new fauna and new varieties of previously existing fauna to hunt down for their parts.

Monster Hunter World Iceborne master rank gear

Master Rank

A brand new rank for loot and gear is being introduced in Monster Hunter World Iceborne. This will apply not only to the brand new monsters that are debuting in the expansion, but also to every single monster that was introduced in Monster Hunter: World. This includes all the monsters that came as part of the free updates. This also means that new tiers of equipment are possible for all weapon and armor types. Decorations are also expanded slightly, in that pendants can now be applied to weapons. You can check out the rather extensive list of armor in the new expansion in our Monster Hunter World Iceborne armor guide, while the new weapons are in our refreshed Monster Hunter World Iceborne weapons guide.

One big thing to note that's not obvious is that Master Rank changes how Flash Pods and stun effects work on enemies. Monsters now build up resistances to flashes every time they're stunned by them. While they can be stunned multiple times, the duration of the stun will drop if used in quick succession, with the monster eventually not being affected at all by flash pods. To combat this, time the flash pod shots to be far apart, maximising the duration of the flash pod stun.

Monster Hunter World Iceborne clutch claw

Slinger changes and the Clutch Claw

In a slight change to how slingers work, you can now fire off your slinger while your weapons are drawn. Slinger ammo was always a bit cumbersome to fire in the base game, so being able to fire a shot at any time makes it more convenient. This requirement change only applies to slingers however, as you'll still need to put your weapon away to use other items like healing potions.

The Clutch Claw is new to the Iceborne expansion and will allow you to latch onto certain parts of your enemies. This can be useful for targeting specific hard-to-reach body parts that you are aiming to break, as well as chipping off any armour that may be forming around the monster.

It can also be used to stagger a monster into a wall. When a monster is breathing heavily in one place, you can use the clutch claw to clamber onto it, you can make it change direction by hitting it with the claw, then fire all your slinger ammunition into it to make it stagger. If it staggers into a wall or obstacle, it will fall over, giving you an opportunity to attack specific limbs.

This is not the same as jumping onto enemies manually, as the attacks with the Clutch Claw for every weapon are unique. When using the Clutch Claw, make sure that you keep an eye on your draining stamina as you can fall off. An attacking monster can also deal damage to you while you're on board, so do jump off it it's looking a bit dangerous.

Rideable creatures

To ride animals, approach the smaller creatures and walk around them until the prompt appears. Animals are useful for item gathering as they will, at times, stop to dig up items. Here you can press the button prompt to unearth some extra treasure such as Adamant Seeds.

There are considerable downsides though. Your attack options while mounted are limited to your slinger though and you can't manipulate the movement of the mounted animal, so if a hungry Anjanath is bounding up behind the Popo with its teeth bared, disembark quickly.

You can also have certain creatures available for "Raider Ride" by talking to the Palico at your camp multiple times after starting an expedition. This will unlock all the raider mounts for all areas you've befriended the Grimalkyne in Monster Hunter world (find out how to befriend the Grimalkyne in our Monster Hunter: World Palico guide). The exception is the Hoarfrost Reach area's Wulgs. To make the Wulgs (the skunk/badger creatures) a rideable mount, you'll need to complete a few quests for the Lynian Researcher sitting in front of the commander tent in Seliana. This requires you to perform certain steps:

  • Complete the quest to hunt a large monster. Return to camp after completing the deed rather than Seliana.
  • Talk to the Boaboa and follow them to their home.
  • Accept the quest in Seliana or talk to the Handler to start a quest to hunt a Tempered Beotodus.
  • Return to the Boaboa after hunting the Tempered Beotodus to get their tailraider signal.
  • Talk to your Palico at camp three times to unlock the ability to ride Wulgs.

Monster Hunter World Iceborne chef

Hoarfrost Reach and Seliana

Hoarfrost Reach is the new hunting area in Monster Hunter World Iceborne, bringing the total of available areas to six. It is a multi-layered location that combines the frozen wilderness with underground caverns. To combat the cold weather that is draining maximum stamina, a new item called the Hot Drink, can be crafted by picking the Hot Pepper items scattered throughout the land. You can also use the hot springs to aid you here.

With the brand new region comes a new hub area called Seliana. It largely has the same facilities as Astera, though it has a new head-chef in the canteen and a brand new facility called the Steamworks where correctly guessing the randomised sequences rewards you with lots of items. Your personal room can be customised to a greater extent as well.

Monster Hunter World Iceborne guides

Finally, here are some other guides you may be interested in for Monster Hunter World Iceborne:

Monster Hunter World guideOur guide hub for Monster Hunter World, including the basics, weapon and armour trees, and boss guides.

Monster Hunter World Iceborne armor - All the armor recipes and the best Monster Hunter World Iceborne builds.

Monster Hunter World Iceborne weaponsAll the weapons in Iceborne and the recipes for each one.

Monster Hunter World Iceborne boss guide - A collection of boss guides for Monster Hunter World Iceborne, detailing strategies, weaknesses, and loot tables for each.

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Dave Irwin

Former Guides Writer

Dave was a guides writer for Rock Paper Shotgun from 2018-2020. He previously worked as a freelancer for TheSixthAxis, Tech Advisor and Kotaku, producing hundreds of guides to help people get better at their favourite games. He now writes guides for PCGamesN.